Some simple tips on how to choose paint for your home.

The color of a room can make all the difference. Color can make a room comfortable or uncomfortable.  It can make the room restful or exciting.  Color can make a room seem cheerful and joyous or it inspires work. Choosing paint should be a very serious process so that you get exactly what you want.  Paint comes in many different textures and colors.  Knowing a little more about it will help you to know how to choose paint that will reflect the use of the room and your personality. 

OBSERVE

Take a look around the room and see what you have to work with prior to choosing paint. What is the size of the room?  If it is small, consider a light color that will make the room look larger.  Large rooms look more cozy when a dark color is on the wall.  Does the room have columns, crown molding, gingerbread brackets or is it just plain with a ceiling, wall and floor.  Take into consideration all the architectural features. You might want to have the features stand out by painting them white or you might want to hide them by painting them the same color as the wall.  Also consider the function of the room.  A bedroom needs to be restful, so red or bright yellow might not be the best choice. Those colors would look very good in an active family or rec room. Also consider the lighting in the room. Natural light displays color in the truest light.  Blue will look natural and red will be right and bold.  Incandescent light from lamps tends to make colors warmer as the light has a golden tone. It mellows the wall colors while florescent light has a blue tone and sharpens the color.  

COLOR PALETTE

White, beige and other plain light colors were popular wall colors in the past, but today it isn’t uncommon for walls and ceilings to burst forth with bold colors.  Do not be afraid of color.  The colors you choose for your walls should be colors you enjoy.  Open up your closet and see what colors predominate.  If you have a propensity for purple, a light violet might be a the perfect color for your bedroom.  Take into consideration the color of your furnishings. A brown sofa will go with just about anything because it is a neutral color, but a dark red sofa can look pretty awful against orange walls. Most paint companies provide samples on paper called paint cards or chips.  Take several home and hold them against the woodwork, carpeting and furnishings at different times of the day and night to see what looks the best.  Some paint manufacturers sell small sample-size cans of paint. Put them up on the wall before buying the larger container and let the paint dry completely before deciding if the color is right for you. 

FINISH

Paint comes in many finishes or textures.  Flat paint does not reflect and the paint looks muted.  It is good for ceilings or walls that might have a few bulges or slight cracks because it hides them.  Flat or matte paint is hard to clean because dust and grime tend to cling to it, so use it in a low-traffic area.  Satin or low-luster paint has a bit of sheen to it and cleans easier than flat paint.  It looks nice and silky on the wall and can take high-traffic areas because it cleans easily.  It also does a good job on painting woodwork.  Eggshell paint is a low-luster product, but more suited to low-traffic areas since it tends to mar easily when furniture or kids rub against it.  Semi-gloss paint does reflect light and has a shine. It is a good paint for baseboards and kitchen or bathroom walls because it is one of the easiest paints to clean. Food will wipe off easily and the paint will look good as new.  Gloss or high-gloss paint is extremely shiny and many people do not like to use it for walls, but it is excellent to use on woodwork, railings, around doors and windows and does do nicely in kitchen and bathrooms on the wall.  The more gloss a paint has, the easier it is to clean. Unfortunately glossy paint also emphasizes any imperfection in the wall or wood.  

TYPES OF PAINT

latex paint is one of the more popular types of indoor paint since it is the easiest paint to put up on a wall. You don’t have to paint in one direction for it to be smooth.  Just slap it on the wall and if you spill a bit, it comes up easily when you get to it right away.  Oil-based paint is also popular, but it must be used with paint thinner or turpentine.  Eco-Friendly paints are gaining popularity. Other paints have chemicals in them that release toxic fumes when they are wet and also emit small amounts of toxins when dry.  Eco-friendly paint has less toxicity than other paints.  

These tips should help you to know how to choose paint for your home.  Apply primer to new or bare wood first to make the paint stick better. Also use primer over dark colors so you do not have to apply as many coats of paint to the wall.  Always choose a paint color you love to get the most enjoyment out of it.  

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